How to help your favourite artists - VOL II

Llama Totem available  in my shop

Llama Totem available in my shop

It’s been a year since I wrote my first volume of “How to help your favourite artists” where I explained how some of us artists make a living and simple easy ways in which you can help us get out of the typical starving artist trope.

Well a lot has changed since then (namely on the internet), so I thought I would flesh out the post with some additional easy ways in which you can support your favourite creative!

Passive Help

These ways of helping are FREE but can help your favourite artist in tangible and meaningful ways:

There are many ways to help artists for FREE on the internet

There are many ways to help artists for FREE on the internet

On the inter webs:

Social media

Social media can make all the difference for creatives, and there’s loads you can do to keep them showing up in your feed and also to help them show up in other people’s feeds as well!

1) Share / retweet / repost (with permission)

This is the most beneficial way of helping an artist/creative on social media. On Facebook you would share the post on your timeline, on twitter you can re-tweet and on Instagram you can repost (though since IG doesn’t repost well it’s always best to ask for permission before you do this and properly tag the account you are sharing - you can also shout out a person on your stories so that works well as well).

2) Comment!

This is as good as sharing in my opinion. We love to get interaction from people who like our work or even just honest feedback! Comments also tell the various social media algorithms that you like to interact with that page so to keep showing you content from that page. So, even if you only have time for a short comment - it’s still well worth it. This is why you may see people asking questions on their posts - as the interaction they garner from you or others is helping them rank better in feeds in general.

3) Like / heart

This is the quick and easy option, it doesn’t have as much clout as the above mentioned interactions but every little helps!

Check to see if your favourite artist has an email newsletter to subscribe to!

Check to see if your favourite artist has an email newsletter to subscribe to!

Email Newsletters

Quite a lot of creatives have email newsletters, (mine is here) and if you don’t hang out on social media very often it’s a great way to keep in the look and potentially get early access to originals / prints / kickstarters and the likes. Again, subscription is absolutely free and you don’t HAVE to read the email - though it’s nice if you do ;)

Visit your local studios and galleries

Visit your local studios and galleries

Physical / Local

Join gallery openings, buy small but affordable items such as greeting cards, share the word with other locals who might appreciate the work of your local artists. The Just a Card movement is a real eye opening campaign that is doing an amazing job of showing to the general public how important small purchases are to those who are running independent businesses.

Active help - (Small investments all add up)

Of course if you have a little money to spend, a little can go a long way and nowadays (in my opinion) art is more affordable and accessible than it has ever been. Here’s some ideas for how you can support your favourite creatives:

  • Shop local galleries and open studios - This will not only help those who are involved or contributing, but also help your local town be diverse and unique!

  • Print on demand - If your favourite artist has a print on demand site such as Redbubble or Society 6 and you’re hunting for a new phone case, consider purchasing a case with their art on! They’ll get a portion of the sales and you’re helping support sites that promote independent art!

  • Patreon - A lot of artists have a Patreon account where you pay a small monthly amount (often the cost of a coffee) to get early or private viewings of their work. Each artist / maker is different on what they offer, so it’s well worth taking a browse and seeing what you can get involved in.

  • Buy me a coffee and similar - There’s a bunch of similar sites like Buy Me A Coffee where people can basically send creatives a small amount of money (e.g. the cost of a coffee) as a thanks for keeping up with their epic work. Every little bit helps!

  • Shop direct - Most artists who are online will have an online shop either on their own website or hosted by sites like Etsy or Shopify and the like. You can rest assured that you’re getting products directly from the maker and supporting them directly as well!

  • Commission custom art - not all custom art is super expensive, it’s always worth asking if you would like to commission something custom for yourself or a loved one. Most artists will really appreciate the compliment and be happy to come up with a reasonable price or work to your budget.

  • Kickstarters - Kickstarter has become a great way to support creative endeavours of all kinds. I used Kickstarter to fund the creation of 3 enamel pins, may not sound like much but it was something I would have struggled to afford if I’d done it on my own. There are so many amazing creative projects on Kickstarter, so go shopping for something really unique!

  • Conventions / ComicCons - Depending on where you live, comic-cons or conventions can be a great way to meet creatives and support them. Almost every niche of creativity has some kind of convention associated with it, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out for them.

There you have it! A simple guideline for helping your fellow creatives escape the “starving artist” trope! What do you think? How do you like to support your favourite creatives?